Virginia Looks to Change Breast-Feeding in Public Laws
Currently, pregnant mothers in Idaho, South Dakota, and yes, Virginia have no legal right to breast-feed their children in public establishments. Although Virginia law does provide a legal right for mothers to breast-feed anywhere on state-owned property, it does not give mothers a legal right to feed their children in such a manner in places such as malls, gyms, grocery stores, or day care centers. Moms are typically asked to feed their children in restrooms, or to leave the premises.
Recently, there have been reports of moms who were ejected from a Fairfax pool, a Culpeper Wal-Mart and an Ashburn gym. Such reports have not been sitting well with the public as well as with government officials. Resultantly, Delegate David B. Albo (R -Fairfax) along with co-sponsor Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) offered a bill on January 15, 2015 that would “provide that a mother may breast-feed in any place where the mother is lawfully present.” Should the bill be passed, Virginia would become the 48th state in the U.S. to have such a law.
The bill, “HB 1499 Breast-feeding in public places; mother’s right”, has bipartisan support, as well as the backing of the governor, and was passed by the House yesterday (Feb. 6. 2015).